By Akin Ojumu

There’s something fundamentally wrong with a minister of the Gospel who, while standing on the pulpit of righteousness, tells the congregation:

“Money has sustained you up till now. Without money you have no life. So, anybody who tells you money is not important is either the person is totally ignorant or absolutely mischievous. Because, without it there is no life. That is why, anytime you deal with money, you would provoke something.” Mensa Otabil.

To utter such profound words in a House of worship of the Almighty God, the Maker of the heaven and the earth, is preposterous. For a seasoned Christian leader to make such an emphatic declaration on the altar of He who is the sustainer of all things, to whom belong every beast of the forest and the cattle on a thousand hills, is a dangerous thing, to say the least. 

The sentiment conveyed in those remarks is totally alien to the true Gospel. Such a view of life and money is foreign to the Scripture and contrary the Message of the Cross. This is nothing but a call by Dr. Mensa Otabil to his audience to bow down and worship money. With those words the man of God magnified mammon over and above the Supreme God.

The Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ tells us something entirely different from what Mensah Otabil says about money. What the Bible says about the proper Christian attitude towards money is antithetical to this idolatrous declaration.

Let's explore and reflect on a few passages of Scripture that shed light on man and money.

It is in God we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17:28). 

Our Helper is God, and the LORD is the Sustainer of our soul (Psalms 54:4).

Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own (Luke 12:15).

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5). 

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs (1 Timothy 6:10).

And in Matthew 6:24-34 we read:

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life - whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Dr Mensa Otabil says, “…anybody who tells you money is not important is either the person is totally ignorant or absolutely mischievous.” 

But the Bible tells us the exact opposite. God says money is not important and don't worry about it. Now since God Himself says money is not important, the logical inference one can draw from Mensa Otabil’s statement is that he – in his own words – believes God is either totally ignorant or absolutely mischievous. 

So, whose report will you believe? Are you going to take the word of Mensa Otabil over the Word of God Almighty? The choice is yours.


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